Results tagged ‘ Justin Morneau ’
The Twins host the Pirates on Saturday with right-hander Anthony Swarzak getting his second start of the spring.
What went right: Both starting pitchers fared well, as Nick Blackburn allowed two runs on five hits over five innings against the Red Sox, while Liam Hendriks gave up just one hit and a walk over five scoreless frames against the Blue Jays.
Blackburn also appears primed to start the home opener against the Angels on April 9, as Scott Baker doesn’t seem likely to be ready to start the season because of his battles with right elbow tendonitis.
Hendriks also established himself as the front-runner to start the club’s third game against the Orioles on April 8, as it doesn’t appear that Jason Marquis will be ready to go because he’s been back home tending to a family issue for more than a week.
On the offensive side, Chris Parmelee homered against the Blue Jays, and continues to make a strong case to be Minnesota’s starting first baseman come Opening Day.
And Justin Morneau had another solid day at the plate, going 1-for-3 with an RBI double while serving as designated hitter yet again. Joe Mauer also went 2-for-3 with a walk to raise his average to .367.
What went wrong: The Twins didn’t exactly pitch well against the Red Sox, as both Jeff Gray and Brian Duensing gave up three runs.
The Twins also made some sloppy plays in the field, including a boneheaded play in the seventh that allowed a run to score from second on a bunt.
Luke Hughes cooled off a bit by going 0-for-5 against Boston, but is still hitting .339 in Grapefruit League play.
What they said: “Figure the math,” Anderson said about Blackburn’s first start this season. “Five days after that, when is he throwing again? It’s the home opener.”
What’s next: Right-hander Anthony Swarzak is set to make his second Grapefruit League start on Sunday against the Pirates at Hammond Stadium. Swarzak, who has a 3.86 ERA this spring, is being stretched out in case Scott Baker and Jason Marquis aren’t ready to start the season. Right-hander Kevin Correia starts for Pittsburgh.
Injury update: Outfielder Trevor Plouffe (strained right hamstring) returned to the lineup on Friday, and went 0-for-3. … Right-hander Kyle Waldrop will be placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the season. He’s suffering from a strained right elbow. … Right-hander Scott Baker is set to pitch in a Minor League game against the Red Sox’s Triple-A club on Saturday. … An MRI taken on Alexi Casilla’s right knee revealed only inflammation. He’s day to day.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Justin Morneau and Luke Hughes both homered, and Joe Mauer added three hits to lead the Twins to an 11-7 win over the Phillies on Wednesday at Hammond Stadium.
The Twins go for their third win in a row on Thursday, when they travel to Bradenton to face the Pirates.
What went right: Morneau continued his impressive stretch, going 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.
Morneau, making his 10th straight start at designated hitter, is hitting .471 (8-for-17) with three homers, two doubles and nine RBIs over his last five games.
It’s certainly a good sign for the Twins, but they’re still not saying whether he’ll start the year at DH or at first base. But it’s becoming more and more likely he’ll begin the season at DH.
Mauer also had three hits, including an RBI single in the fourth inning. He’s now batting .340 this spring.
Hughes hit his team-leading fifth homer of the spring in the Twins’ seven-run fourth inning. He’s been crushing the ball this spring with a .375 batting average, and is all but guaranteed a spot on the team. He also saw his first action in left field.
Left-hander Francisco Liriano was solid, allowing two runs on seven hits over four-plus innings. More importantly, he walked just one batter and has a 2.45 ERA with 26 strikeouts and just four walks in 22 innings this spring.
Left-hander Brian Duensing tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Liriano, and has allowed just one run this year.
What went wrong: Glen Perkins and Matt Capps both threw on consecutive days for the first time this spring, and struggled.
Perkins allowed three runs on three hits in the sixth inning. But he did strike out two batters.
And Capps gave up a run on two hits in the eighth to raise his ERA to 4.00 this spring. Alex Burnett gave up another run in the ninth and now has a 7.88 ERA.
What they said: “I’m going to buy M&Ms on the way home because I feel so nostalgic,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said when asked if Mauer and Morneau’s big day reminded him of the good old days. “Nostalgic? To me, the good old days were the 70s. So, no, they don’t remind me of the 70s.”
What’s next: Left-hander Matt Maloney is scheduled to make his first start of the spring on Thursday against the Pirates in Bradenton at 12:05 p.m. CT. Maloney, who is competing for a spot in the bullpen, has been perfect so far this spring with a 0.00 ERA in 11 1/3 innings. Right-hander Jared Burton is also scheduled to pitch for the Twins. Right-hander James McDonald gets the start for Pittsburgh.
Injury update: Outfielder Trevor Plouffe (strained right hamstring) went 4-for-4 with three homers and a double in a Triple-A game on Wednesday … Infielder Sean Burroughs received good news, as an X-ray exam on his left forearm came back negative. He’s day to day. … Outfielder Josh Willingham returned to the lineup after tweaking his ankle before Monday’s game against the Rays.
SARASOTA, Fla. — Five Twins pitchers, including starter Anthony Swarzak, combined to one-hit the Orioles in a 5-0 win on Tuesday at Ed Smith Stadium.
The Twins return home on Wednesday to host the Phillies at Hammond Stadium with left-hander Francisco Liriano set to take the mound.
What went right: The Twins shut down the Orioles, allowing just one hit and three walks on the afternoon.
Swarzak tossed 3 2/3 hitless innings, but did issue all three free passes. But Swarzak was rewarded after the game, as Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Swarzak will be on the Opening Day roster.
Right-hander Jeff Gray also retired all seven batters he faced to lower his ERA to 2.16 this spring. He still likely remains on the outside looking in, but is on the 40-man roster and out of Minor League options.
Jared Burton continued his solid spring with a perfect seventh inning to lower his ERA to 1.13. And closer Matt Capps retired all three batters he faced in the ninth.
Justin Morneau also picked up another hit with an RBI single in the fifth inning. He drilled a two-strike curveball from right-hander Chris Tillman into right field.
Jamey Carroll went 1-for-3 with a two-run double in the second while Luke Hughes added an RBI double in the first.
The Twins also made a few nice defensive plays, including a diving snare from shortstop Brian Dozier and a diving play from second baseman Alexi Casilla in the sixth.
What went wrong: Not much, but left-hander Glen Perkins gave up the lone hit on a double to Robert Andino with two outs in the eighth inning.
But even on that play, the Twins executed a great relay, as Ben Revere got the ball to Alexi Casilla who threw Andino out at third.
What they said: “A good day,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I like to see that, get the outs we’re supposed to get, and pitchers throwing it over for the most part.”
What’s next: Left -hander Francisco Liriano is scheduled to make his sixth Grapefruit League start of the spring on Wednesday against the Phillies at Hammond Stadium. Liriano has been excellent so far this spring, posting a 2.00 ERA with 23 strikeouts and three walks in 18 innings. Right-hander Vance Worley is slated to start for Philadelpha.
Injury update: Outfielder Trevor Plouffe (strained right hamstring) is scheduled to play in a Minor League game on Wednesday after going through a workout without any issues on Tuesday. … Infielder Sean Burroughs had an X-ray taken on his left forearm a day after it was hit by a pitch. The results should come in on Wednesday … Outfielder Josh Willingham is fine after tweaking his ankle before Monday’s game against the Rays.
SARASOTA, Fla. — The Twins made another round of roster cuts this morning, optioning outfielder Joe Benson and right-hander Jeff Manship to Triple-A Rochester, and reassigning catcher Rene Rivera and infielder Pedro Florimon to Minor League camp.
None of those moves came as a complete surprise, although Manship was in the running for a spot in the bullpen and Florimon had a chance to stick as a utility infielder after Tsuyoshi Nishioka was optioned to Triple-A.
But Manship struggled in a recent outing against the Yankees and ended up with a 5.19 ERA, while Florimon hit just .148 with one extra-base hit.
Right-hander Anthony Swarzak makes his first start of the spring against the Orioles today. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are both in the lineup again today, as Mauer is starting at first base and Morneau is serving as designated hitter.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Luke Hughes, 3B
6. Chris Parmelee, RF
7. Ben Revere, LF
8. J.R. Towles, C
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B
RHP Anthony Swarazak
Twins pitchers: Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Alex Burnett, Jeff Gray
1. Nolan Reimold, LF
2. Nick Johnson, DH
3. Adam Jones, CF
4. Matt Wieters, C
5. Mark Reynolds, 3B
6. Wilson Betemit, RF
7. Chris Davis, 1B
8. Robert Andino, SS
9. Ryan Flaherty, 2B
LHP Tsuyoshi Wada
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Right-hander Scott Baker struggled in his first start since March 6, surrendering seven runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 innings in the Twins’ 10-4 loss to the Rays on Monday at Hammond Stadium.
The Twins have a chance to snap their two-game skid when they play the Orioles in Sarasota on Tuesday. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are both on the travel list to play in the game.
What went right: Morneau continued to show signs that his swing is coming around, as he went 1-for-3 with a double to mark his third-straight game with an extra-base hit.
He also shed some light on why he’s been serving as DH so much this spring, as it was doctors who told him that it can help him avoid suffering any concussion-related symptoms. Look for more details in today’s notebook.
Mauer also went 1-for-3 and is hitting .333 this spring. Ryan Doumit, starting in right field, connected on his first homer of the spring in the second inning. Brian Dinkelman went 2-for-2, Ben Revere went 2-for-3 and Chris Parmelee went 1-for-1 with a walk.
Right-hander Jeff Manship was the only reliever not to allow a run, tossing 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Baker.
What went wrong: Baker simply wasn’t sharp, as he was hit hard, including a pair of homers from Ben Zobrist and Elliot Johnson. Both home runs came with two outs, and brought home a total of six runs, as Zobrist’s was a grand slam and Johnson’s was a two-run shot.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire also didn’t like Baker’s pace, as he said he was taking too long to make his pitches. On a positive note, however, Baker said his elbow felt just fine.
The Twins also made some sloppy plays, as they failed to turn a double play in the fifth inning on a groundball hit by Jose Molina. Alexi Casilla should’ve come off the bag to make the turn, but instead jumped in the air and wasn’t able to make the throw.
Joe Benson was also doubled off second base on a line drive hit by Drew Butera in the seventh inning. Benson froze on the play, but should’ve retreated back to second because the Twins were already down 7-2 at that point.
Liam Hendriks allowed a two-run homer to Cody Rogers in the eighth. But otherwise, Hendriks pitched well over four innings.
What they said: “Not to get into the medical stuff too much, but [the doctors] said before that if my body gets worn down too much, I’m more vulnerable to having the symptoms reoccur,” Morneau said about why he’s been DHing so much this spring. “The chance of going backwards is when I get worn down. I can have the fogginess and the headaches, and all that stuff can return, if my system gets too worn down. Then I’m in a vulnerable position.”
What’s next: The Twins make the trek to Sarasota to face the Orioles on Tuesday with right-hander Anthony Swarzak scheduled to make his first start of the spring. Swarzak has only been used in relief so far, posting a 6.35 ERA in 5 2/3 innings. Swarzak, who is out of Minor League options, is being stretched out in case he’s used as a long reliever to start the season. Matt Capps, Glen Perkins and Matt Maloney are also scheduled to pitch for the Twins.
Injury update: Outfielder Trevor Plouffe (strained right hamstring) is scheduled to play in a Minor League game on Wednesday. He’s slated to run the bases on Tuesday. … Infielder Sean Burroughs left Monday’s game in the sixth inning with a forearm contusion after being hit by a pitch. He’s day to day. … Outfielder Josh Willingham was a late scratch with a tweaked right ankle. He’s also day to day.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins made one roster move this morning, reassigning right-hander Brendan Wise to Minor League camp.
Wise, 26, posted a 9.00 ERA over seven innings in six Grapefruit League games. The Australia native struck one, walked one and allowed two home runs.
The Twins now have 38 players in camp.
Right-hander Scott Baker starts for the Twins today to mark his first Grapefruit League start since March 6. It’ll be an important outing for Baker, who is battling elbow tendonitis and remains a candidate to start the season on the disabled list.
Baker is set to throw about 50 pitches today after throwing 23 pitches in a Minor League game on Thursday. The Twins are hopeful he’ll be able to make his scheduled start in the club’s home opener on April 9, but there’s still a chance he’ll be pushed back to April 15.
The Twins are also trotting out an interesting lineup, as Justin Morneau is at designated hitter yet again with Chris Parmelee getting the start at first. Josh Willingham is in left field with Ryan Doumit in right. Ben Revere, who appears headed to a fourth outfielder role, is on the bench.
There’s a chance this could even be the Opening Day lineup, but it’s worth remembering that Trevor Plouffe is currently out with a strained right hamstring.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Ryan Doumit, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Chris Parmelee, 1B
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B
RHP Scott Baker
Twins pitchers: Liam Hendriks, Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Jeff Gray, Jeff Manship
1. Ben Zobrist, RF
2. Luke Scott, DH
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Carlos Pena, 1B
5. Jeff Keppinger, 2B
6. Jose Molina, C
7. Elliot Johnson, SS
8. Will Rhymes, LF
9. Jesus Felciano, CF
RHP Jeff Niemann
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins put on an offensive display in an 19-4 win over the Rays on Saturday at Hammond Stadium, as they had 18 hits, including five homers.
Justin Morneau hit two blasts while J.R. Towles, Luke Hughes and Chris Parmelee also homered.
What went right: Morneau was able to build on his double against the Yankees on Friday, as he homered twice off Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.
Morneau went 2-for-2 with a walk to raise his batting average to .154 in 13 Grapefruit League games.
He hasn’t played first base since March 13, and there remains a chance he could start the season as the club’s designated hitter. He said after the game that he’s open to that possibility if it helps the team, but that he’d rather be the club’s starting first baseman.
Chris Parmelee continued to make his case to make the roster, as he made his first start in right field and homered. He’s now hitting .316 with three homers, a double and a triple in 14 games.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan wouldn’t rule out Parmelee breaking camp with the Twins, even though he’s yet to play at Triple-A. In that scenario, Parmelee would see action and first base and right field with Morneau mostly serving as DH.
Hughes also solidified his status on the roster, going 5-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and five RBIs. He also played shortstop for the first time this spring.
Towles homered off Hellickson, and just missed another one in his next at-bat, hitting one off the left-field wall.
Joe Mauer went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .333. Denard Span went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, Jamey Carroll went 3-for-4 and Josh Willingham went 1-for-3.
Left-hander Matt Maloney tossed two perfect innings with a strikeout to keep his ERA perfect at 0.00 this spring.
What went wrong: Not too much, but starter Jeff Gray did allow two runs on two hits, walk and a hit batter over two innings.
Gray started in place of right-hander Jason Marquis, who missed the start because he was home in New York attending to a family issue.
Closer Matt Capps allowed a run in his one inning of work, while right-hander Alex Burnett surrendered a run over two innings. Danny Valencia was the only Twins starter not to get a hit, but did walk twice and two score runs.
What they said: “It feels good,” Morneau said about his two homers. “It’d be nice to have it on Opening Day. It’s one of those things where you don’t necessarily need to hit home runs to know where you’re at. I think that ball that I hit to center yesterday that didn’t get out was as good a swing as any I’ve had all spring. And when you take a swing like that it kind of lets you know you’re getting close to where you want to be. Today was just a better day. It feels good and lets me know the hard work is starting to pay off.
What’s next: The Twins travel across the state to take on the Cardinals in Jupiter on Sunday with right-hander Nick Blackburn slated to make the start. Blackburn has been impressive this spring, as he’s yet to allow a run over seven innings in Grapefruit League play. Brian Duensing, Kyle Waldrop and Jared Burton are also scheduled to pitch for the Twins. Former Twins right-hander Kyle Lohse starts for St. Louis.
Injury update: Twins right-hander Scott Baker (elbow tendonitis) threw a bullpen without any issues and is scheduled to start on Monday against the Rays. It will mark Baker’s first Grapefruit League start . … Outfielder Trevor Plouffe (strained right hamstring) is likely to play in a Minor League game on Monday.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins saw their five-game winning streak come to an end in an 11-1 loss to the Orioles on Thursday at Hammond Stadium.
Minnesota will look to get back on track when they travel north to face the Yankees on Friday at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.
What went right: Not too much, as the Twins gave up 14 hits and had just five hits of their own.
Joe Mauer went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and is now hitting .313 this spring. Ben Revere and Michael Hollimon both doubled as well. Revere is hitting .343, while Hollimon is batting .500. Chris Parmelee went 1-for-2 and is hitting .333.
Left-hander Brian Duensing was the only Twins pitcher not to give up a run, as he tossed a scoreless fifth inning. He’s yet to allow a run in six innings this spring.
What went wrong: Right-hander Carl Pavano got a preview of the team he’s going to face on Opening Day, and got shelled.
Pavano allowed six runs on eight hits, including a homer, a triple and three doubles. His ERA now stands at 6.11 this spring.
Matt Capps served up a solo homer to Chris Davis in the sixth before Brendan Wise gave up a two-run homer to Trent Mummy in the eighth. Glen Perkins also struggled, giving up two runs on four hits in one inning of work.
Justin Morneau continued his struggles at the plate, going 0-for-3 to see his average tumble to .091 (3-for-33. But he did hit a hard liner to left in the fourth before lining out to third in the seventh.
What they said: “It really picked up today as you saw,” Gardenhire said when asked if things are expected start to pick up after Wednesday’s off-day. “Everybody really rose to the occasion. No. It was a dead day really. We played about six or seven good ballgames in a row or so, but today was really dead.”
What’s next: Left-hander Francisco Liriano is set to start against the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on Friday at 12:05 p.m. PT. Liriano has been excellent this spring, posting a 2.77 ERA with 18 strikeouts and two walks allowed over 13 innings pitched. Right-handers Alex Burnett, Jeff Manship and Jared Burton are also scheduled to pitch for the Twins. Right-hander Ivan Nova starts for New York.
Injury update: Twins right-hander Scott Baker (elbow tendonitis) pitched two scoreless innings in a Minor League game. But he also threw just 23 pitches, and could end up on the disabled list to start the season. … Trevor Plouffe participated in a light workout, as he’s still battling a strained right hamstring.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Left-hander Francisco Liriano tossed five no-hit innings and the Twins allowed just one hit in a 10-0 win over the Pirates at Hammond Stadium.
The Twins improved to 10-8 with the victory, and make the short trek to JetBlue Park to face the Red Sox on Monday at 12:35 p.m. CT.
What went right: Liriano looked the best he has all spring, walking just one and striking out six over five no-hit frames.
So far, Liriano has struck out 18 and walked just two in 13 Grapefruit League innings. It’s a great sign for the Twins, who need him to pitch like he did in 2010 after struggling last season with a 5.09 ERA.
Jeff Gray, Sam Deduno and Casey Fien also threw no-hit innings, while Luis Perdomo served up the Pirates’ lone hit in the eighth inning. Brandon Boggs picked up the one single with one out in the eighth, but was thrown out by Brian Dinkelman while trying to advance to second base.
The offense also looked good with 13 hits and 10 runs, as they scored five runs in both the second and seventh innings.
Jamey Carroll, who entered hitting just .043 this spring, went 2-for-3, including a two-run double down the right-field line in the second inning. Brian Dozier hit his first homer of the spring to lead off the seventh, while Ray Chang added a two-run double.
Alexi Casilla, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Trevor Plouffe and Joe Benson each picked up an RBI on the afternoon.
What went wrong: Not much, considering the Twins outplayed the Pirates in just about every aspect of the game.
Mauer and Morneau combined to go 0-for-5 but both had RBI groundouts in the second inning with the infield playing back. Danny Valencia went 0-for-3, including a strikeout to end the first inning with the bases loaded.
Perdomo gave up the lone hit by the Pirates, but didn’t allow a baserunner to reach, as Boggs was thrown out at second.
What they said: “I said all right, I’m going to go home and hit my dog. And he goes, your dog doesn’t have anything to worry about, you won’t be hitting it too hard,” Carroll said about a funny exchange he had with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire earlier this week after another hitless game. “I needed to hear that, so it was good. I don’t have a dog, so all the animal-rights activists, it’s just a joke. But you need to hear that. You get frustrated. You want to contribute, especially on a new team. You want to play well, and I think it’s a matter of just trying to relax a little bit and let it come.”
What’s next: Right-hander Jason Marquis is set to make his fourth Grapefruit League start on Monday against the Red Sox at 12:35 p.m. CT at JetBlue Park. Marquis has allowed nine runs over 8 2/3 innings this spring. Right-handers Alex Burnett, Jared Burton, Anthony Swarzak and Jeff Manship are also scheduled to pitch for the Twins.
Injury update: Right-hander Scott Baker (elbow) faces a big test on Monday, as he’s slated to throw a bullpen at the club’s Spring Training complex before they travel down the road to play the Red Sox. Baker is expected to ramp up his intensity after throwing at about 75 percent on Saturday. … Outfielder Trevor Plouffe exited Sunday’s game against the Pirates in the seventh inning with a strained right hamstring. It’s not serious but he’s expected to be held out through at least Wednesday.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins are rolling out their expected Opening Day lineup against the Yankees today at Hammond Stadium.
One Twins pitcher joked that it didn’t surprise him that manager Ron Gardenhire waited until the club played the Yankees to unveil his “A” lineup. So it’ll certainly be interesting to see if they can put some runs on the board, as the offense has mostly struggled so far this spring.
The game, which will be televised on FS North and MLB.TV at 12:05 p.m. CT, will also be a good test for right-hander Nick Blackburn, who is making his Grapefruit League debut.
Blackburn has looked good so far in two “B” games — throwing three scoreless innings against the Red Sox — so we’ll see how he does against a Yankees lineup that includes veterans such as Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez.
UPDATE: That didn’t last long. The Twins announced that Denard Span is out with neck stiffness. Joe Benson replaced him and is batting eighth. Ben Revere moves up to leadoff. The updated lineup is below:
1. Ben Revere, LF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Josh Willingham, RF
6. Ryan Doumit, DH
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Joe Benson, CF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B
RHP Nick Blackburn
Twins reserves: Drew Butera, Dan Rohlfing, Steve Pearce, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Trevor Plouffe, Wilkin Ramirez, Matt Carson
Twins pitchers: Brian Duensing, Jeff Manship, Jason Bulger, Carlos Gutierrez, Tyler Robertson, Brendan Wise, Aaron Thompson, Matt Capps
1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Nick Swisher, RF
4. Raul Ibanez, DH
5. Francisco Cervelli, C
6. Jorge Vaqzuez 3B,
7. Jayson Nix 2B,
8. Brandon Laird 1B,
9. Ramiro Pena, SS
RHP Phil Hughes